What’s on America’s grill this weekend?

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America’s summer grilling season kicks off this weekend, and topping the list of favorite grilled foods is steak, followed closely by burgers. 

Grill That’s according to an annual poll conducted by Kelton Research for the American Meat Institute. Twenty-nine percent of consumers polled said steak would be their first choice for grilling this year, followed by burgers (hamburgers, turkey burgers, or lamb burgers) at 27 percent.

Such data supports ideas that seasonal beef demand is increasing, as the industry has witnessed through recent price spikes for boxed beef cutout values. Wednesday’s Choice boxed beef cutout, as reported by USDA, was $210.66 per hundredweight, with Select boxed beef at $192.97. Recent days have seen demand for Choice product increase rapidly, and the Choice/Select spread has widened from $8.46 on April 26, to $17.69 yesterday.

“Clearly, Memorial Day weekend signals barbecue classics on the grill,” says AMI Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Janet Riley. “With so many great meat and poultry options available, backyard chefs can find an endless array of delicious and nutritious grilling choices in the meat case.”

The consumer poll also found that hot dogs will be a major food staple this summer. American’s will eat an estimated 7 billion hot dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day, including 150 million during the Fourth of July holiday alone. Baseball fans are expected to consume 20.4 million hot dogs at Major League Ballparks this season.

AMI, however, encourages consumers to monitor cooking temperatures for burgers and handle meat products according to safe food handling recommendations. New AMI polling suggests that only 39 percent of Americans know the recommended internal cooking temperatures of 160 degrees for hamburgers and 165 degrees for turkey burgers.

AMI also reminds consumers to keep meat and poultry cold before cooking; separate raw and ready to eat foods; clean hands, utensils and cooking boards with hot soapy water before and after handling raw meat and poultry, and refrigerate leftovers within two hours.

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Oregon  |  May, 23, 2013 at 08:43 AM

I was among the many who naturally assumed we would be grilling beef this weekend. Until I went to the supermarket. Holy mackerel, those beef prices nearly made me faint! So, screw grilling beef -- we're going to enjoy chicken and some really tasty pork ribs this year. Probably some turkey franks, too. You ripoff artists can keep your overpriced beef.

Texas  |  May, 23, 2013 at 09:56 AM

Don't be so cheap. Cattlemen have been almost giving you the beef for years and now you complain about paying a little extra for the best. Have your foodstamps run out or what?

Grill Chef    
Missouri  |  May, 23, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Seafood on the barbi for our family this year!! We always wanted to do that but it seemed so expensive and extravagant until this year when compared to beef everything and anything is affordable. We've had every sort of beef over the years and most of it was OK but now we will enjoy lobster, lamb, some of those giant shrimp and especially some salmon fillets. My mouth is watering already. Can hardly wait for such a treat as this!

Oregon  |  May, 23, 2013 at 02:01 PM

Good call, Texas. American's, sadly, have an overwhelming sense of entitlement. Hard working people across the world are clamoring to buy U.S. beef at relatively higher prices than are enjoyed here, and typically spend a huge percentage of their disposable income on food (unlike us Americans). Sure, a price spike as a result of an epic drought and subsequent herd reduction has required consumers to pay a bit more, but we have no idea what it's like to try to feed a family high quality, nutritious food across most of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Central/South America. "You ripoff artists can keep your overpriced beef." WOW - sounds like a spoiled, entitled teenager who hasn't thought to take stock of how lucky he or she is to have access to American supermarkets.

Joel Karlin    
Fresno  |  May, 24, 2013 at 02:22 PM

Beef prices are high but readers of this magazine are more than familiar with the reasons so. Nonetheless perusing some of the supermarket circulars here in the Fresno, CA region does reveal some good buys. Untrimmed tri-tips can be bought in large packages at $2.99/lb and trimming fat from this cut is relatively easy. Also cross rib roasts can be had for $3.99. There are a lot of inexpensive cuts out there and making into strips and marinating can turn some tough cuts into very tastable treats. All have a good holiday and remember why we honor this day................JSK

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